Bart Hess: Future Bodies
Exhibition, Stedelijk Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
Since graduating in 2007 Dutch designer Bart Hess positions himself on the crossroads between product design, fashion and art. Over the last decade he has presented numerous experimental material studies, videos and photographs. This work is centred on the relation between person and material, nature and technology. He shot to fame with his Slime Dress for Lady Gaga, which also won him the Young Dutch Design Award.
Bart Hess is fascinated by the human body which he tries to dress, decorate or alienate in different ways, in a manner that has little to do with fashion or styling. Hess films or photographs his designs and performances. This documentary work – which is often reminiscent of science fiction – is in a certain sense Bart Hess’ real work.
Hess’ designs seduce, perturb, attract and repulse. High-tech materials blend with the bodies of the filmed models. This is so convincing that the video Mutants went viral on the internet: what looks like a digital animation is actually a filmed performance in a latex bodysuit.
The tension between the virtual and the tangible is a constant in his designs, but in the last few years the physical aspect has become more important for Bart Hess. The impact and interaction with the viewer has become more direct, which is why he has recently moved on from photographs and videos to theatrical installations.
This exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch is the first retrospective of the work of Bart Hess, from A Hunt for High Tech (2007) to a new interactive work that will première during the exhibition.